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DEC asks for comments on potential new deer regs.


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Thanks for posting! Everyone who who hunts needs to get involved if proper changes even have a chance and this is our opportunity! I spoke to the DEC officer ( forgot his name) a LOTSA this past weekend for a good while in depth of what is goin on in this state as far as the Whitetail hunting goes. And much to my surprise he was in agreement with just about every concern that I had with the numbers of animals that are walking around. His main response was to get out there and voice our opinions if we don't agree with the numbers and the way the state is going about treating them. One of the biggest problems in my area and probably in most others too is the shear number of nucence permits that are issued to the farmers. He agreed that us hunters don't stand a chance in trying to keep Whitetails around for hunters to enjoy when farmers are massacring them. Not to mention the fact that the ones who hold these permits can shoot the deer and just leave them to rot!! This happens everywhere that there is agriculture around so don't be fooled! Get out there and voice your opinion!

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I posted comments this morning. Here's what I said, if anybody's interested.


Thank you for the opportunity to comment. I am 48 years old and a landowner, with ~42 acres adjacent to Northampton Park in Monroe County. I would like to convey my sense of disappointment this past season, my first owning the property, when I found out that I would not be able to hunt for several large bucks that I’d patterned over the summer until after October 15th. This put quite a damper on my first season there.


I always shoot doe; I am a Professor of Medicine at the University of Rochester and my graduate students are always hungry! However, I do not shoot doe when it’s 70F out. In general, I harvest them later in the gun season and during muzzleloader season to allow the cool temperatures to do their work. Hence, I wasn’t in the woods the first two weeks of season. I firmly believe based upon interactions with many, many other bowhunters that the new regulation was not only ineffective, it was counterproductive and alienated your stakeholders. Moreover, I’m not sure that I understand how a small fraction of the hunting community such as bowhunters is expected to make enough of a dent in the doe population to be considered an effective management tool.


I would like to clearly state my opinion that this rule should be rescinded.


I would also like to provide some input from the perspective of a landowner near a high density deer area that doesn’t allow hunting. My neighbors and I (there are five groups in total that say in touch who own large parcels near Northampton) all commented on the lack of doe this year. Their numbers were so low that I asked my friends hunting on my property NOT to shoot doe, just so the bucks would have a couple to chase during the rut. This is in dramatic contrast to other areas I hunted where the numbers were somewhat lower than previous years, but not virtually non-existing. I came to find out that a local fruit farmer had shot at last count 73 doe on nuisance permits. Yes, 73 doe means he had a deer problem, I suspect. But the local impact was devastating. There needs to be reins on how many permits are distributed in a small area, even an area that’s considered to be high density. Again, my expectations as a first year landowner came to a crushing halt. My neighbors uniformly mirrored my opinion…there were just no doe around. Nuisance permits need to be more carefully handled and limits on local distribution need to be in place.


Finally, although I understand the need for management tools, putting muzzleloader season in the middle of bow season is a very bad idea. Rifles and guys in trees wearing camo do not mix well. We don’t need another “opening day†in the woods to kick the deer into hiding. I know that everyone I speak to would like to harvest an extra doe for themselves or one of their co-workers. It’s not that they don’t have the tags. It’s not that they don’t have the time. They just don’t have the opportunity. For whatever reasons (I favor a lack of access and the prevalence of leasing), the guys I know either harvest all the doe that they want if they’re lucky enough to have spots or they simply don’t see deer (generally if they’re limited in where they can hunt and they burn that spot). Muzzleloader season during bow might change when the deer are harvested, but I sincerely feel that it won’t change overall harvest numbers. Finally, even if this regulation should come to pass, there will be no muzzleloader hunting on my land. We enjoy bow too much and we spend too much money in taxes to have our passion ruined in this way.

Edited by Gator
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Here is what I sent:


Thank you for the opportunity to comment in regards to deer hunting regulation changes.  As a life long outdoorsman I am VERY concerned about the LACK OF DEER sightings in my area (7H) this past season.  The winter kill from the previous season was severe in my area.  I hunt on approximately 140 acres, and last March I found 12 dead deer.  They were not all fawns. There were adult does and bucks as well.  I am not a biologist, but that is a serious impact on that small of an area.  Going by the Winter Severity Index used by the DEC, the later portion of last winter(feb-march)  in my area was extreme to say the least.

    I have attended both deer population management meetings hosted by Cornell (1/20, 1/27) within the new Aggregate pilot area. While I can appreciate peoples concerns about deer "over population" in urban/suburban areas that is simply not the case in the rural community in which I live. To make general recommendations that effect both suburban and rural areas equally when in fact they have very different concerns seems counterproductive. 

    During the first meeting on 1/20 I asked this question:  If the goal is to manage the population on a more local level, to have a beneficial impact for both the residents and the wildlife, how is the development of these aggregates going to help? In point of fact, I would think it would be counter productive due to the larger area covered within each aggregate.  We were told that the aggregates were formed to make the gathering of data easier.  This seems to be a solution installed to make administrative tasks easier, and will not necessarily make management strategies on a "local" level easier to implement. 

    If there is a restructuring of WMU/Aggregates coming in the future would it not make more sense to define the boundaries based on habitat similarities and human/wildlife densities?  Meaning, could you build the aggregates surrounding urban/suburban areas to have a population goal that would specifically target that type of habitat?  Then in turn, build the aggregates for rural/farm habitat separately?  This way would make it possible to try and benefit all stakeholders within each target area.  For example, the pilot aggregate contains many square miles of agricultural land as well as Ithaca and its suburbs, I would think the population goals for these 2 opposing habitats would be very different from one another.  By grouping them together it will almost guarantee that the stakeholders in one habitat type may benefit from regulation changes at the expense of the other.

    I realize that there are many differing opinions on this matter as well as many others, but I truly believe making the Aggregate areas larger then already existing WMU's will make the task of "local" deer population management much more difficult. 

    I would also be in favor of antler restrictions to protect year and a half old bucks, but I am FIRMLY against a 1 buck per year regulation.  I say this because there have been many years when I have not taken a buck (my choice), and to have that outstanding year when you may get the opportunity to harvest a great  buck with a bow and a gun taken away by regulations would be extremely unfair in my opinion. 


Again thank you for the opportunity to comment.



Dennis Johnson

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Here's a novel idea get a handle on the actual deer population.You are looking for a solution to a non existent problem,there are not too many deer. 


UHHHHHH. exactly. wtf.

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 Possible deer and bear hunting changes for 2016



Stop the doe only the 1st two weeks of archery season and late muzzleloader season

Absolutely no muzzleloader season in the middle of archery season
Get a clue and realize the deer population is not burgeoning out of control and the herd size is health
Adopt a better way of calculating deer density and population,like actual aerial survey,questionnaire to every hunter etc.
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Here was my letter several days ago. It echoes Dan's concerns about poor data on herd numbers:


"To whom it may concern:


I appreciate the opportunity to convey my personal feelings on current and proposed hunting regulations for 2016 (and possibly 2017).


I am a 42 year old Family Physician in Rochester, NY, a community I was born and raised in and proud to call my home. I am also a landowner of 96 acres in WMU 9H and 13 acres in WMU 8F and an avid outdoorsman. My passion for the great NY outdoors started when I was 9. I have seen many changes over the past three decades, some good but some that have me shaking my head. I am especially concerned with the rumors that your “Phase 3†program for doe management will possibly include introducing an antlerless only muzzleloader (or other firearms) season within the traditional bow-hunting season.


I think you need to seriously reconsider this proposal for several reasons:


  1. Bow-hunting offers a season of tranquility and peace and I feel this will be ruined by the ringing of firearm blasts
  2. Introducing more firearms into the bow-hunting season will introduce the potential for safety violations, given that most bow-hunters do not wear blaze orange during this season
  3. Many of us are not seeing the deer numbers both pre, intra and post season whether during the hunting season itself or during pre and post season scouting. I’d argue that your harvest survey methods and data are not accurate and are antiquated. To encourage more antlerless deer harvesting without more input from hunters with “boots on the ground†is dangerous and potentially erroneous.


My suggestions would be:


  1. Reduce the number of nuisance permits, or at least take a much more scientific look at how these harvests impact the deer population.
  2. Update current methods of data collection of the deer population. Perform site surveys based on hunter input of deer seen per hunt per unit time.
  3. Reduce the length of the Regular firearms season to no more than 2 weeks
  4. Implement an antler point restriction program, especially in the WMU’s hit especially hard by high 1.5 year old buck harvests
  5. Other than a youth hunt, do not implement any additional firearms into the bow-hunting season


In a nutshell, I think you will find many of your most dedicated sportsmen and women as bow-hunters. Bow-hunting takes discipline, intense practice, scouting, and land management efforts. Unfortunately, I feel that our season continues to be eroded by introduction of more and more weapons, antler only restrictions, and as a result it could compromise the entire NY hunting landscape.


Thanks for your time."

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C'mon guys! Let's hear more of your input. Two weeks to flood DEC with letters! Let's let them know how we feel.


I'm not going to push my agenda; all opinions are welcome. It's important that we take an active hand in this process, though. I wish they'd given us more time so that the Sporting News couple publish instructions...counter to my belief, I guess not everyone is on LOU  :rofl:


So tell your hunting buddies that the Superbowl isn't for another week, use the time wisely and mail DEC their opinions.

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Post is great. I'll be sending one tying in already said topics, although the 3 topics are somewhat pinpointed and not capturing true issues facing our deer management program. My added points will be;

1. Nuisance permits for farmers that allow hunting as well. If you don't want hunting on your property but yet give the permits to all your buddies that's an issue.

2. Harvesting corn prior to gun season. We have got to get the corn fields cut prior to the start of gun. Not sure how to give incentives to farmers.

3. Rather would see 1 buck per season vs restriction but something rather than current would be better.

4. Our current surveying / counting deer herd is broke. Look to see what other states like Ohio is performing.

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2. Harvesting corn prior to gun season. We have got to get the corn fields cut prior to the start of gun. Not sure how to give incentives to farmers. 


Unrealistic,you wouldn't want someone telling you how to run your business,some years the corn isn't ready to come in yet

The DEC has no authority or bearing on a farmers crop or harvest time

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Yea I understand Dan. It's tough though when fields are still standing and people are complaining about not seeing deer. Kinda of ironic right? Teaching farmers about deer mgt is the right step. Corn standing through till December is a problem but yet there begging for nuisance permits right?

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The nuisance permits are a whole other issue. Deer actually don't cause much loss to the farmers at all but many have the" kill all the deer" mentality anyhow. 

Reason corn remains standing into the season are,moisture content in the kernels still to high to harvest,fields to wet to harvest and just plain have a lot of fields to cut and it takes time. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

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